Should schools celebrate Burns with shortbread and Irn-Bru? - your views online

The Scottish Government’s chief health adviser, Linda Bauld, has criticised primary schools for giving shortbread and Irn-Bru to schoolchildren to celebrate Burns Week, saying Scots have “normalised” poor dietary choices, which are contributing to the nation’s poor health outcomes.
​Should schools be giving pupils Irn-Bru to drink?​Should schools be giving pupils Irn-Bru to drink?
​Should schools be giving pupils Irn-Bru to drink?

Cllr Todd Ferguson: Sure, more needs to be done to improve healthy eating choices and educate people from a young age but this is one day a year to celebrate Burns. The over-proscripted clampdown on everything is becoming ridiculously restrictive and dictatorial.

Tania Greenhorn: Celebrate the Bard with fizzy drinks and sugar-laden food? Where’s the connection? How about poetry, the written word? Awful food choices have nothing to do with Burns. We as a nation do seem to want to celebrate everything with either alcohol or harmful foods.

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Gillian Cane: Celebrations have always been focused on sharing food and eating together with foods not for the everyday. Of course they can have poetry and singing also. Celebrating with food isn’t the problem.

Susan Entwistle: Honestly all these do-gooders saying what our kids can and cannot eat. Burns is once a year.

Sue Cole: All these ‘do-gooders’ who have studied for decades at top universities to climb the ranks and made it as professors in their fields and know what they are talking about.

Peter Lewis: Middle-class Scottish kids (whose parents are doctors, dentists, university lecturers etc) who have healthier diets grow up fit and strong and lead longer lives. A coincidence? What has Irn-Bru got to do with Burns? Nothing! It’s cheap, stereotypical Scottishness. Give them haggis and neeps – at least it’s healthy (and eaten in Burns’ time). I can't stand this intellectual laziness. A bad diet (with too much sugar, salt and fat) is “Scottish” – does that mean Scots can’t move to a healthier future? It’s depressing for a country that was once a world leader in medicine.

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Dougie Milne: A piece of shortbread and some Irn-Bru once a year isn’t going to kill anyone. The wee dram that their parents enjoyed probably did more long-term damage.

Fiona Harvie: Bad eating habits come from home, not a once-a-year celebration. She talks about celebrating with food and drink being normalised. So birthday cake and Christmas dinner shouldn’t be eaten?

Elle Morrison: Celebrations always have high-calorie, high-fat, high-sugar treats as part of the celebration. I think Linda Bauld has too much time on her hands and is a living in a different planet if she thinks this is the biggest issue in Scottish education.

William Rendle: Well done.They are both ‘junk’ foods and the Scottish Government shouldn’t be using taxpayers’ money like this.

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Robert Sharp: Let folk eat what they like. Scotland is quickly becoming a country where we’re were being dictated to If only the government and its advisers would work on the things we actually require.

Rock on

Readers took issue with our feature highlightng Edinburgh’s ‘top venues’ for live music.

Alex Weir: Edinburgh Council is actively destroying the city’s music scene by making it increasingly difficult to get parked near venues. Imagine a touring band trying to get a full PA system, drums, instruments etc to a city venue by bicycle. The planned pedestrianisation of the city centre will be the final nail in the coffin.

Andrew J Swanson: Would hardly call any of them ‘top venues’. Yes, they all serve a purpose and yes there are many good artists that come to play in them but none are suitable for the bigger artists that will only play arenas due to fan numbers, the area needed for their stage etc. It’s also a bit dubious to include the Ross Bandstand and Royal Highland Showground as these are not permanent music venues and require temporary stages erected. If you include those you may as well include places like Saughton Park or Leith Links that could have stage area erected and have the potential to hold thousands.

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Paul Scales: I have seen so many gig venues disappear in my 22 years in Edinburgh. No wonder so many touring bands avoid the place.

Louise Wilson: Edinburgh desperately needs a multi-use arena, on a par with the Manchester Arena. It’s nonsense that we frequently have to go on a round trip of 100 miles from a capital city to the Hydro in Glasgow because we totally lack any suitable venue in Edinburgh.

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